Denver-based investment firm Kelly Strategic Management has filed for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) offering exposure to Ethereum (ETH) futures contracts.
The move comes just three months after VanEck and ProShares suddenly withdrew their ETH futures ETF applications on the same day in August.
According to a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF will invest in cash-settled Ether futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas noted on Twitter on Tuesday that Kelly’s Ether ETF may have a s20% chance of getting approval, as he questioned whether the “SEC is ready for this new step.”
In Balchunas’ view, he thinks that SEC chairman Gary Gensler is “not mentally ready” to approve anything other than a Bitcoin (BTC) futures ETF at this stage:
“During the Bitcoin futures filing process in Aug, VanEck and ProShares filed for Ether ETFs too. SEC told them to withdraw them. It's now 3 months (and 3 successful Bitcoin ETF futures ETF launches) later.”
Balchunas added that if the rumors were true that the SEC told VanEck and ProShares to withdraw their respective Ether ETF filings as they provided exposure to crypto assets other than BTC, Kelly’s ETF would have a 1% chance of approval.
Just had quick chat with @JSeyff and our early, rough odds of approval of this ETF is about 20% unless this @twobitidiot rumor is correct, then we'd obv go way lower like 1% (altho we still see multiple ETFs holding $ETHE) https://t.co/Ba4yRMsGS6— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) November 29, 2021
Researcher Jason Lowery commented, "I would be surprised if SEC approved an ETH ETF b/c it tacitly signals acceptance of ETH as not being an unregistered security."
The SEC has approved multiple BTC futures ETFs in the latter half of 2021, but it appears that the regulatory body is currently not willing to sign off on any type of fund that offers exposure to crypto outside of CME BTC futures contracts.
Earlier this month, Anna Paglia the global head of ETFs and indexed strategies at Invesco highlighted as such, as she explained that her firm’s decision to pull its BTC Futures ETF was because the SEC only approves Bitcoin ETFs with 100% exposure to Bitcoin futures.
Invesco’s ETF had aimed to provide a mix of futures swaps, physical Bitcoin and private funds in the Bitcoin industry.